Sheltered housing receives green area

New Green Gym helps elderly residents lead healthier lifestyles.

More than eight elderly residents have begun to reap the rewards of a refurbished green area, thanks to Mondelēz International’s Health for Life programme.

Volunteers from the Bournville-based company have supported the creation of a food growing area and raised beds at Melrose Close, a sheltered housing complex based in Kings Norton.

Funded by the Mondelēz International Foundation and delivered by The Conservation Volunteers and Health Education Service, the Health for Life programme takes a whole community approach to support children, adults and families to live healthier lifestyles for generations to come.

Monica Keshav, community champion and leader of the volunteer session, says: “All the volunteers had such a lovely day helping to create a space for the elderly residents to enjoy!”

60-year-old Pam Dean who is a resident at Melrose Close, says: “It is so wonderful to be able to see the transformation of our green space. We’ve already started to grow our own fruit and vegetables and we’re looking forward to harvesting and eating the variety of produce. Thank you to all the volunteers for giving up their time.”

A recent study carried out by Garden Organic and Sustain stated that green space and food growing spaces need to be created and protected in the environments where we live, to make it easy for people to participate in gardening, allotments, community food growing and horticultural therapy.

The National Health Service also revealed that Green Gyms can help to improve health and the environment at the same time with the outdoor alternative to the gym.

Marie Wellings, Project Officer at TCV, explains: “Green gyms are becoming widely recognised as a practical way for people of all ages to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and it is crucial we continue to create more green space across south Birmingham.

“The refurbished space at Melrose Close will allow the residents to take part in gentle exercises and enjoy growing their own fresh produce, which will make a massive difference to their wellbeing. We hope the transformed area benefits all the residents for years to come.”

TCV offers a range of activities through the Health for Life programme to involve individuals and community groups in Weoley, Northfield, Kings Norton, Longbridge and Bournville. For further information, please visit: